He is expected to play the role of India’s leading spinner in the upcoming World Cup in England but chinaman Kuldeep Yadav’s slump prompted Kolkata Knight Riders team management to drop him from the playing XI against Sunrisers Hyderabad barely six weeks before the big event. The wrist spinner has only got four wickets in nine IPL games at an economy rate of 8.66 and KKR dropped him in their 10th game even though his replacement, KC Cariappa, fared worse, giving away 34 runs in two overs.

When asked about Kuldeep’s absence from the playing XI, KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik made it clear that he was dropped owing to poor form.

“A form issue with (Kuldeep) – as he couldn’t stand up for us in the last game. We had to give him a break and get him back fresh.”

However, despite his poor form, KKR’s other spinners went for plenty and gave away a cumulative 106 runs in nine overs.

“Our bowling has been off-colour in the tournament. Our fielding needs a lot of improvement too,” said skipper Karthik, who is also under scanner due to his poor form and a controversial berth in the World Cup-bound squad.

“I think 160 was a par score on this wicket if we’d bowled well. I think they (Warner and Bairstow) batted really well but our fielding cost us. And after that dropped catch (off Prithviraj), he (Bairstow) came at us all guns blazing. A wicket of Bairstow would have felt better, feel for the guy (Yarra Prithviraj). We have been outplayed in this game,” Karthik said.

Talking about the match – Hyderabad openers Jonny Bairstow and David Warner continued their stellar run at the top as they powered Sunrisers to a nine-wicket win over struggling Kolkata Knight Riders in an IPL encounter on Sunday. Chasing a target of 160, Warner struck 67 off 38 balls hitting three fours and five sixes while Englishman Bairstow punished the hapless KKR attack with seven boundaries and four maximums in his unbeaten knock of 80 off 43 balls.